It confirmed my sneaking suspicion that The Learning Channel turned into The Laugh at Freaks Channel. Jordan the bartering guy confirms Extreme Cheapskates set up scenarios to make him look like he won’t pay for anything (when he actually does) in his blog post My Media Guy TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates: The True Story.
Worse is Broke Rich Girl’s experience that TLC lied to her when she declined to apply to be on the show. Production said they wanted her to “be the voice of reason” and later in the process wanted her to sign up for on line dating as a way to get free meals. How sleazy is that?!
She declined. You go girl!
10 Not So Extreme Budget Lessons from Extreme Cheapskates
If you strip away the fake jacked up borderline illegal and craziness, there are some general budgeting ideas that will help you save money and keep your ethics intact. Some may not be new to you. Others may be something that don’t apply or you don’t want to do.
1. They Make Financial Goals – Extreme Cheapskates rarely or barely mentions this because TLC wants to make the people look like miserly money hoarders. If you pay close attention, you’ll see financial goals like:
- A husband and wife who run a dog rescue
- An environmentally conscious single mom with a child who was able to retire at age 50.
- A man who is trying to become a pro wrestler.
- Families paying off large debts.
Financial goals are a good thing to keep in mind when you are on the fence about making a splurge on something that is a want instead of a need.
2. They Keep Track of Expenses – Extreme Cheapskates makes updating personal finance spreadsheet or Quicken a little OCD (affiliate links appear in this post for your convenience.) Possibly but you aren’t going to get an accurate picture of how much money you have, where it is going, and the progress you are making toward your financial goals unless you write it down somewhere.
3. Many of Them are Minimalists – Considering quality verses quantity of the item usually leads to a better return on the investment and in turn saves money because you don’t have to replace it but living by the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up sounds less crazy on TV.
I’d rather have one block of expensive kitchen knives than a drawer full of cheap knives that break easily.
4. They Do Not Waste Things – In my experience generating less household trash for environmental reasons also leads to saving money. For example:
- Unplugging small electronics after each use (when appropriate) reduces the amount of electricity appliances draw from the outlet when not in use (commonly called vampire power.)
- Flushing the toilet less frequently – there are plenty of folks who if it’s yellow let it mellow for environmental reasons or live in a drought area. It’s not for me but TLC knows it is weird enough to make good TV.
- Composting food scraps and yard waste into fertilizer
- Donating or selling items they no longer use.
- Add your tips to the comments section below!
6. They Share or Borrow Things - Using a public library is an excellent example!
I washed, cut, and hemmed old towels to use instead of paper towels. I have a roll of emergency paper towels for anything involving bodily fluids because I’m squeamish. I have had the same roll for almost three years.
8. They Don’t Care if Others Think They are Weird for Not Keeping Up With the Jones – Often TLC edits a voice over to play over different video to make the people on the show on look like cheap freaks (not cool.) And yet, to be fair, some of Extreme Cheapskates ways to save money are not for everyone (personally dumpster diving is not my thing but it’s OK for you if you like it.)
Some of these 26 Weird Ways to Save Money aren’t for everyone and that’s OK.
9. Willing to Work a Little Harder - In all honesty “cheapskate” activities such as cooking dinner from scratch, DIY, gardening, canning and preserving, baking bread, hunting, fishing, etc. are also considered hobbies.
Lacey likes it when I make dried butternut squash dog treats! Her vet gave me a gold star for giving Lacey healthy dog treats. A win win!
10. Comparison shop – TLC specifically did want to feature the people on Extreme Cheapskates shopping sales, calculating and comparing unit prices, using coupons, and shopping non traditional stores because they feature that on their show Extreme Couponing, but chances are they do.
What are your tips?
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